Time was, being a hedge fund manager was an exercise in raising billions of dollars, charging 2&20 (or 3&50), telling investors to f*ck off if they didn't like it, propping one's feet up on the desk, and watching from binoculars as a fleet of dump trucks filled with money pulled up to the lobby and asked "Where should we leave it" daily. Lately, though, it's been hard. Investors suddenly want justifications for high fees for crappy performance. Once mighty firms are laying off traders. Navigating the markets feels like going to war. Relative to the old days, it sucks to be a hedge fund manager.* Unless you're Renaissance Technologies founder Jim Simons, who technically retired in 2010 and is still destroying the competition.
The hedge-fund firm, which relies on closely held computer models and algorithms, has staged a comeback after an uneven spell, with its funds posting market-beating gains for more than the past year. Now they are getting a cash influx, even as rivals suffer withdrawals. Renaissance attracted more than $7 billion in new investor money over the past year from wealthy clients of UBS Group AG, Citigroup Inc. and others, according to people close to the matter. Renaissance now manages more than $36 billion, up from $27 billion a year ago, even after returning about $1 billion from its signature Medallion fund, which is closed to investors. The success is the latest sign that some quantitative funds are beating traditional investors.
Another reason it's good to be Jim, besides his computers getting the credit they deserve?
About $22.65 billion of Renaissance’s assets are owned by the firm’s founder, Jim Simons, and “Renaissance-related capital,” according to investor documents.
*Relative to reality, it's still a good gig.